The first thing I loved when I saw the Bhalo catwalk collection on the Clean Cut runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australi was the prints, then the colours, then the cut! And that was all before speaking to Jessica and Shimul about the label.
In fact the patterns of Construct, which is the name of the SS15 collection, are derived from patterns of weaving and construction with the idea of connecting the wearer to the garment and it's origin.
Actually the whole collection is a melange of natural hand-woven fabrics, hand-appliqués and embroidery (above), which is pretty intricate work and yet at the same time largeness of cut-outs make it bold. The garments are designed in Australia and then made in rural Bangladesh at the WFTO approved Thanapara Swallows Development Society.
Jessica and Shimul met in Dhaka in 2008 and started the label in 2009 in a bid to support and sustain rural producers and artisans in Bangladesh. In 2014, with an amazing six runway shows, three exhibitions and eight collections under their belt, they're really flipping getting there. International stockists is their next step and I know these easy and beautiful pieces would work everywhere from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and MORE.
On the eve of the commemoration of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, it's really good to know that there are possibilities of doing it right. In fact, you can make a difference by joining the fashionrevolution.org campaign on the 24th April and wearing/posting images of your clothes inside out with the hashtag #insideout.
It is great to remember the philosophy behind the Bhalo brand: 'by empowering our customers to know the origins of the clothes they are purchasing, we believe this form of transparency is crucial to encouraging people to make ethical decisions towards the things that we acquire in our lives, clothing included.'
After all, our home is the world and it seems pretty intelligent to keep it it pretty fabulous.
All photographs Olivia Bentley